Glenn Stark

Department of Physics
Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA

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Teaching Interests

I teach a range of courses in the Physics Department. In the last five years I've taught:

In the Fall semester of 2011/12 I will be teaching Physics 101 (see below) and Physics 108 (see below). In the Spring of 2012 I will teach Physics 107 and Physics 310.


PHYSICS 101 Einstein's Century

Lectures: Tuesday and Friday @ 1:30 - Room 396 Science Center.

Prerequisites: Completion of the QR Basics Skills Requirement. This course satisfies the Natural and Physical Science and the Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving distribution requirements.

In 1905, Albert Einstein published three seminal papers in the history of modern science, introducing the theory of special relativity, launching the field of quantum mechanics, and helping establish the atomic nature of matter. We will use Einstein’s contributions as a springboard for an introductory exploration of the natures of light, matter, space, and time. Physics 101 is designed for the student who may not have a strong science background but would like an introduction to the major themes of physics in the last one hundred years. In addition to lectures and demonstrations we will have readings that draw from the biographical and historical contexts in which these ideas developed. We will make use of basic high school algebra, and some trigonometry, in our work.


PHYSICS 108 Principles and Applications of Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics

Lectures: Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday @ 9:50 - Room 256 Science Center

Lab Sections: Monday & Thursday 1:30 - 4:30; Tuesday 12:30 - 3:30; Wednesday 2:15 - 5:15.

Prerequisites: Physics 107 and calculus at the level of Math 116. This course satisfies the Natural Science, Mathematical Modeling, and Science Lab distribution requirements.

This second semester of classical physics concentrates on the fundamental forces of electricity and magnetism. The electric and magnetic forces are entirely responsible for the structures and interactions of atoms and molecules, the properties of all solids, and the structure and function of biological material. Our technological society is largely dependent on the myriad applications of the physics of electricity and magnetism, e.g., motors and generators, communications systems, and the architecture of computers. After developing quantitative descriptions of electricity and magnetism, we explore the relations between them, leading us to an understanding of light as an electromagnetic phenomenon. The course will consider both ray-optics and wave-optics descriptions of light. Laboratory exercises will emphasize electrical circuits, electronic measuring instruments, optics, and optical experiments.